If yours is a charcoal grill, an inexpensive chimney starter will get you grilling in no time—without dangerous chemicals and unpleasant fumes. Gas grillers, be sure to check your propane supply before you start. There’s nothing worse at a cookout than having the fire go out after you’ve put the food on the grill.
Clean the grill before each use. Heat for 5 minutes with the lid closed, then use a long-handled stiff grill brush to clean off any residue. With long spring-loaded tongs, run a vegetable oil-dipped wadded paper towel over the grate.
For safety, keep a spray bottle of water handy for eliminating those inevitable flare-ups. Have a fire extinguisher close by, just in case.
Remember, the grill isn’t just for meat any more. Vegetables, bread, even dessert can be done on the grill. Something as simple and no-fuss as a peach half or pineapple slice topped with a scoop of ice cream seems special when the fruit is grilled.
Reserve a dedicated area of the grill for the food of any vegetarians in the group so it will not be contaminated by the meat.
Try some non-toxic ways, such as citronella candles or lamps, to keep uninvited flying guests away. If electricity is available, fans may also help.
It’s summertime and the livin’ is supposed to be easy. To be cool and collected when your guests arrive, do as much cooking and prep as possible the day before. Even easier—let your guests bring a dish! [Link to Potluck Party Tips - http://www.cuisinart.com/blog/entry/1436.html]